5 things to know from the Beane-McDermott press conference

Posted Jan 9, 2018

Buffalo’s front office gave a synopsis of their first season in Buffalo and a broad outlook on what’s ahead. Here are the five things you need to know about the plans of GM Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott going forward.

1 – Playoffs have not changed the plan
Making the playoffs for the first time in 17 years was certainly an unanticipated achievement for many fans. The Bills gutted their way to a playoff berth in 2017, but by no means do the decision makers for the franchise believe the team has arrived as a perennial contender.

“We have a long way to go, we really do,” said Beane. “We have a lot of work to do. We’re trying to compete and win every day. We really are. I know we said it and people drew their own conclusions of what our strategy was or what this team was or was not going to be.

“The great thing is this team defined itself in their prep every day on and off the field to get the results. Our plan has not changed. The only thing that gets adjusted is you don’t know where you’re going to draft each year. It’s a great thing to be drafting 21 and we’ve got Kansas City’s pick, which is 22. You draft in the 20’s it means you’re in the playoffs and that means you have a chance.”

McDermott said the vision for the team is “on schedule,” but there’s a lot of work to be done.

2 – Not satisfied with the offense
Outside of running the football and third down conversions, there wasn’t much else the Bills did on offense at a high level. They were 29th in total offense, 31st in passing, 30th in sack percentage and 22nd in scoring.

Though there is rampant speculation outside the organization about Tyrod Taylor’s future as well as offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, Beane and McDermott are focused on evaluating the offense in its entirety first and foremost.

“We’re not satisfied with the whole offense and it wasn’t just about Tyrod,” Beane said. “There are a lot of hands in the cookie jar so to speak. Sean and I are going to talk about everything. We know we have to get better on offense, defense and special teams. We are far from a finished product. We have a lot of work to do and we know that. That’s going to get started pretty quickly after this press conference.”

Beane said Taylor has a lot of ability, but weaknesses to work on too. He’s confident he’ll work on them and improve.

“The great thing about Tyrod is you can never question his work ethic,” Beane said. “He does so many good things and gives himself the best chance to succeed on the field, by what he does off.”

As for the speculation surrounding coach Dennison, coach McDermott called it just that. He said the coaching staff along with everything else will be evaluated over the next few weeks.

3 – Bills would love to have Kyle back
He was the poster child for the end of the playoff drought, but Kyle Williams leadership is what resonated the most in Buffalo’s locker room. He was the personification of coach McDermott’s ‘Trust the Process’ mantra before McDermott was even hired.

Williams has no timetable for a decision on his future playing career, but Buffalo’s GM made it clear they would welcome him back with open arms.

“I’ve got nothing but positives to say about Kyle. To see that moment in the locker room with him and his sons and what that meant and what Kyle has meant to this city. He is a big-time leader,” said Beane. “I had a good conversation with him (Monday). I know Sean had a good conversation with him.

“He was a big part of the leadership not only on the defense, but on our team. So we definitely want that back, but it’s a two-way thing. He’s going to reflect. I know he’s heading home to Louisiana. We’ll give him time to sit back. After a long season he needs to sit back and at the right time we’ll get together. We’d definitely love to have Kyle back.”

4 – Bills need to get younger
At the start of the season Buffalo’s 53-man roster was the third-oldest in the NFL with an average age of 26.74 years. The Bills draft class certainly offered some promising young talent for the future, but Buffalo’s brass recognizes a need to add more youth to the roster.

“That’s something that we noticed going into the year,” Beane said. “That’s part of the process. No matter what our record was, whether we won the Super Bowl or didn’t win a game. We know we have to get younger at a lot of positions. Again, it takes time, but we’re going to look at every avenue to the draft, to free agency, guys on the street. We’re going to do what we can to get better at every position.”

Eight of Buffalo’s unrestricted free agents are age 29 or older, so some older players may not return to the roster, but an influx of younger talent will be sought.

5 – Cordy Glenn has positive prognosis
Buffalo’s veteran left tackle Cordy Glenn had a difficult season due to foot and ankle problems. He was eventually placed on injured reserve and had a procedure performed on his foot by renowned foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson. The outlook going forward is positive.

“He had a successful procedure,” said McDermott. “He’s currently rehabbing and getting himself ready for a great offseason. There’s a lot of positive energy around Cordy and I know more than anything he wanted to be out there down the stretch with his teammates.”

McDermott confirmed to that Glenn is on schedule to fully participate come the start of the offseason conditioning program in April.